Weather Blog

Seattle's May heat about to shatter all sorts of records

Seattle's May heat about to shatter all sorts of records
Seattle's Space Needle with mountains in the distant background on May 5, 2013. (Photo: Scott Wood Photography)

Not since the country of Slovakia adopted the euro as its official form of currency has Seattle been this warm in May, and the continued warmth and sunshine is set to break a number of records that have stood for decades and, in some cases, centuries.

Seattle hit a balmy high of 84 degrees on Sunday -- the first day over 80 degrees day in May since 2009 (back before most cell phones had 4G!). It was even warmer on the coast as warm easterly winds that got a temperature boost from the Olympic Mountains sent highs into the mid-upper 80s, with Forks hitting 88.

Yet while the coast was one and done (down in the upper 50s Monday, thanks to marine clouds) Seattle and the Puget Sound area were basking in another day that was expected to reach well into the 80s, courtesy of a thermal trough that will keep the warm east winds going through Monday. Seattle's record high for Monday is 79 degrees, set in 1957 and will likely be broken by the end of lunchtime.

(In fact, Seattle was already at 74 degrees at 11 a.m. Monday, warmer than this impressive list of sun cities:  Orlando, Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Dallas!)

Never before has the city gone its first 9 days in May with highs at 65 degrees or warmer and zero in the rain gauge. Sure, Monday's only Day 6, but there is nothing to suggest this streak won't hold past the 9th. In fact, it could hold all the way into the 10th-12th. (The record is 8 days for 65+ degree highs to begin May, set in 1945, and three-way tie for 8 days for zero rain set in 1907, 1910, 1935 and 1945.)

And it's in stark contrast to last year when May began with its first five days at 56 degrees or colder, and in 2011 when it didn't get warmer than 65 until May 14. In fact, in 2011, we didn't get our first 80 degree day until July 2, and in 2010, it waited until July 7th!

Seattle's records for warmest/driest stretch to begin May:

Highs 65+

  1. 1945: First 8 days of May all 65 and warmer
  2. 1898: First 5 days of May all 65 and warmer
  3. 1966: First 5 days of May all 65 and warmer
  4. 1998: First 5 days of May all 65 and warmer
  5. 1900: First 4 days of May all 65 and warmer
  6. 2004: First 4 days of May all 65 and warmer

Zero rain in rain gauge:

  1. 1907: First 8 days of May dry
  2. 1910: First 8 days of May dry
  3. 1935: First 8 days of May dry
  4. 1945: First 8 days of May dry
  5. 1992: First 7 days of May dry
  6. 1967: First 6 days of May dry
  7. 1898: First 5 days of May dry
  8. 1966: First 5 days of May dry
  9. 2006: First 5 days of May dry